Bees and Japonica alba


In the Pink


Texture Tuesday – Flower Power

I spent a short time today lying on my grass, observing and photographing dandelions and bees.  I have used one shot for this week’s Texture Tuesday image.  This has two layers of KK’s textures – “Paper stained music” and “Fall in”, at multiply and soft light modes respectively.  I had difficulty deciding on the colour for the quotation as dark colours appeared too harsh and light ones too bright – I eventually settled on this after a lot of trial and error!


These are some of the other photos I took:-

Texture Tuesday – Free and Easy Edition…..a bit late

A bit late this week, things have been hectic and even this was done in a hurry!  Textured with one of KK’s Magic textures at reduced opacity and Edith from the Downton Collection.  Hope you like it.


My apologies to those whose comments have recently gone unacknowledged…..they are very much appreciated and I am sorry for so doing, but there has not been much computer time in the last week or so.  I shall endeavour to be better in future.

Some recent macros…..bees and other insects.

Please click on any of these for a large image…….

Macro magic…..

Spotted this rather  beautiful moth near the lake this morning…….it looks like a malevolent fairy!




And a hard working, heavily laden bee…..



The Raspberry patch is alive with the sound of bees……..

Insects and a Spider.

Macro shots from the garden today.

A Tale of Two Bees….

I used to keep bees, and am well used to having them in the garden.  They are often a favourite subject on my daily photo foraging expeditions around the property, even though I have developed a good eye for other interesting or unusual creatures. You may recall in January I posted a photo of a bee species that I had not seen before in the seven years I have lived with this garden.  It was a Blue Banded Bee, or Amegillia cingulata, an Australian native bee with a very distinctive appearance –  it is a bit plumper than the well known honey bee and instead of yellow stripes, it has beautiful turquoise ones, the number of which indicates the gender.  This one had four, so that makes it a female.

I have seen a few since then, but they are not at all common, despite this place being flower filled and overgrown through the summer.

Two days ago I saw this little bee resting on the top of a water reed near the lake, another one I had never seen before and had no idea of its identity.  It was that colour – navy blue and white, and quite small.  Initially when I saw it (without my glasses) I though it was the remains of a dragonfly or another insect that had been caught or killed by something.  It was only when I looked closer and through the lens I realised it was a bee and alive.

I went searching online to see if I could find out what it was, thinking it might be a Cuckoo Bee, and this was later confirmed by a contact at the Melbourne Museum.  It is a native bee with the very grand name of Thyreus caeruleopunctatus, but it does not collect pollen like most bees.  It is called a cuckoo bee because it steals the pollen of other bees by entering their nest, eating the other bee’s egg and then laying her own egg on the pollen mass – a bit like the Cuckoo bird which lays its eggs in another bird’s nest.  Interestingly, the only bee on which this bee is parasitic is the Banded Blue Bee mentioned above – perhaps that is why one does not see very many of them.  I was invited to have this photo added to an online data base of Australian pollinators, and was delighted to accept.  You can see now my image again here, which is a bit of a thrill, and find out more about this beautiful but sneaky bee on the Australian Pollinators website.

Garden shots……end of Summer

Some photographs from the garden, taken over the last few days…..mostly macro as usual, with my beloved Canon 550D and 100mm macro lens.

Down by the lake early in the morning

Cyclamen hederifolium

Cyclamen hederifolium - white

Seed heads of Dierama pendulum

Imperial Jezabel - Delias harpalyce

Seed head of Nigella

Honey Bee on Sedum flower

Blowing Bubbles on a rose petal - this fly was minute maybe 3mm in length.

Another Fly, another bubble....

Posted today for the Creative Exchange.

More Words and Textures…..

Posting these today for the Creative Exchange, and for Texture Tuesday 21st February.  Shot with my Canon 550D, using a 100mm Macro lens for the first image, and a 50mm 1.4 lens for the others.  All are created with Kim Klassen’s Textures, and have been processed using Light Room and PSE9.  Textures used were:-

Bee and Lavender – Shine @ Soft Light
Rose #1 & #2 – Felicity @ Soft Light

Texture Tuesday – the Happiness edition….

In recent times both in Beyond Layers, and for Texture Tuesday this week,  the topic has been Happiness… It was suggested we list the things which make us happy to remember when we might need a boost.  I have not done that though I have thought about it in detail, and one of my items on such a list would be my Girls.  They say Dog’s are man’s best friend, and I totally agree……….unconditional love, but more so when food is in the offing…..the most enthusiastic welcome when you have been gone for 5 minutes or more…….total devotion, unless the neighbour’s cat is in sight…..their desire to keep you warm at night, by sleeping on the bed…….I’m sure the dog lovers out there could add many more of their special characteristics and agree that life would be very different without them.  So, I give you my tribute to The Girls…

Also posting today for the Creative Exchange……I hope you enjoy them..

Blue Bee

Today I spotted a couple of insects that I had not seen before, and certainly not photographed.  The first was a Blue Banded Bee or Amegillia cingulata, an Australian Native Bee with a distinctive appearance –  it is a bit plumper and instead of yellow stripes, it has beautiful turquoise ones, and the number of stripes indicates the gender.  This one had four, so that makes it a female.  They seem to fly very fast, and do not settle for more than a micro-second, so these shots are not as well focused as they might be.  I hope there are more around as they are really very beautiful.

The next one is a Bee Fly or Bombyliid.  I had not seen one of these before either, it was about the size of a stout bee and was feeding on nectar from a Buddlia flower.

I also saw some Skippers, small butterflies, and I think these are both Lyell’s Swifts or Pelopidas lyelli.

Then there were the usual Honey Bees and Cabbage Butterflies on the lavender too……


Butterflies, Bee…and a happy Spider

Took these today….a sunny day for a change so insects were busy going about their work.

All with the 550D, Macro 100mm 2.8 lens and tripod.

Sharing these with the Creative Exchange.

Insects From My Garden

These are all macro shots with a Canon EF 100mm f2.8 lens on my 550D.  Hope you enjoy the up close and personal inspection of these creatures.

I think if you click on individual photos, you will get a larger image and then can move through them all.

Birds and Bees


You might have seen this one before, but I used it for Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday, and processed it with some added textures and a soft edge.

This is another older photo with which I have been fiddling too.  It was taken a couple of years ago at a garden on the coast of NSW, South of Bateman’s Bay – but I cannot remember the name, only that it was very beautiful.  I love the effects textures can give to an image.



From the Garden

Bees and Blossoms

Spring is much later in the cool climate where I live, and the fruit trees are just beginning to blossom.  Blossom brings bees, one of my favourite subjects for macro shots.

Bee on Plum Blossom


Bee on Plum Blossom

Ornamental Cherry Blossom

Plum Blossom

Saturday in the Garden

I should have been continuing my epic garden clean up, but after a couple of trips to the tip with rubbish, the gentle light and lack of wind called me to the garden with the camera.  Heaps of photos later, here are some bugs for today.

All taken with the Canon EOS 550 D, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens and using a tripod.

Spotty Moth..

This is a Heliotrope Moth or  Utetheisa pulchelloides. The photo was taken today with the Macro and Canon EOS 550D……..spotted when checking for other interesting bugs……..sharing the nectar on a Sedum flower with the bees.  It was only about 10mm long.  My daughter said it looks like a giant standing on a million tulips!

and a honey bee.

I do love my bugs………..

The Bee, the Grasshopper and a Coneflower

Sounds like it should be a title for a kids book……..but no, just a couple of shots from the garden today.  Taken as usual using the Macro lens on my Canon EOS 550D.

Life is sweet…..

When you live in a rose…….

And gather nectar from Coneflowers……..

Or are a little bitty fly that helps pollinate the lilies……


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